Grand and Grandiose!!!

Day two in East Tennessee…the day to take a little trip over the mountain to Asheville.  However, on all our adventures we love to hang out with the local’s.  In lieu of cooking another award-winning breakfast at home we decided to “eat breakfast on the road”. We stopped at Clarence’s Drive-In and let me just go ahead and say it can not get more local.  The volume was loud, the hair was high and the men were fresh!!!

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Biscuits and Gravy and Tenderloin Sandwich…WORTH THE DRIVE!!!

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Just a short drive thorough the snow-covered Appalachians and up two-mile drive and we felt like we had driven on to the set of Downton Abbey.  The Biltmore Mansion is the largest privately owned home in the United States.  George Biltmore certainly “had that natural flair”.

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How many homes do you know that have to build an appendage just to house the spiral cantilevered staircase.

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We were not allowed to take photos and it’s just as well.  The floral department has decided to fill the house with plants in vessels not appropriate to the period.  Nevertheless, these archival shots offer a glimpse of our favorite rooms.  Clearly, George was a proponent of the “it’s not done ’til it’s overdone” style of design.

We were allowed to take photos in The Conservatory and throughly enjoyed the flora and fauna…albeit in plastic pots!!!

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The air still has the chill of Winter.  Yet, the arboretum was bursting forth with the glories of Spring.

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As we were exiting the property this handsome man asked if he could have his glamour shot made by our car.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled “feeding”..dinner.

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Brick oven at Cucina 24, Asheville, NC.

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I have BAGS of Penzey’s spices on top of my refrigerator.  I’m thinking this may become a new art piece in our home…LOVE!!!!

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crudo of yellowfin tuna, meyer lemon aioli, sunchoke chips

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fingerling potatoes roasted in smoked duck fat

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 24 month prosciutto san daniele, fig and date mostarda

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cured foie gras, pear, pecan, date vinaigrette

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saffron malloredus, florida red shrimp passato, espellette

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brown butter cake with pumpkin seed brittle and sea salt ice cream

Cucina 24…spectacular food…amazing service…charming ambience…if they had valet parking it’s the kind of place we would visit often.

The house was HUGE…and a FABULOUS time was had by all!!!

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